10 Rules For Web 2.0 Success.
Derived from two terrific panels (videos available here and here) of extremely successful entrepreneurs and applicable to all businesses.
1. Build: Build and they will come. If they don't what have you lost? Lose quick. Lose cheap.
2. Listen To Users: They will tell you what they like, what they hate and what they want.
3. Don't Market: Don't spend money or time on expensive advertising.
4. Product Is All: Spend money and time on making your product/service as good as you can (this, of course, is marketing but let's not quibble).
5. Ignore The Business Plan: The goals of business plans (e.g. raising capital) are not your goals. Flexibility is much more important.
6. Be Aware Of Competition: Don't be totally insular. Obsess about your customers but don't forget to keep an eye on potential competitors and what they're doing better or worse than you.
7. Self-Publicise: You know more about your business than anyone else so you're the best (and cheapest) person to promote it. Take every opportunity to tell your world about what you're doing.
8. Utilise User Passion: If you show you're listening to them, they will willingly talk about you and promote you. For nothing. Faciliate this in every way you can.
9. Be Frugal: If you don't spend, you don't burn through your cash and therefore retain more of you business in the long run. Equally importantly, frugality makes you focus on the essence of the issues at hand.
10. Have Fun: If you don't love what you're doing, you won't exude passion for it and you're unlikely to do it remarkably well.